+39 is an Italian restaurant situated in the heart of the CBD, on Little Bourke St close to Elizabeth St. It's easy to miss the restaurant; there's no big signs indicating where it is, except for a small sign on the wall near the entrance. Despite the low key-ness of it all, the place seems to be bustling with customers at all times, with a constant stream of people entering and leaving.
We went on a Saturday night, and were lucky enough to get a table for about fourteen, having booked the day before. However, we did have a two hour limit, which meant we couldn't sit back and relax after the meal. The restaurant has a really lively and vibrant atmosphere, with the buzz of chatter, clinking of cutlery mixed in with the sounds from the kitchen in the back. At times it felt slightly squashed, as the tables and chairs are all quite closely placed to one another, but I suppose it is all part of the experience. Service however, was a bit of a let down, as I felt that the waiters who served us were in a hurry for us to leave. Their attitude was not very friendly, even to the point of impatient or angry, and sometimes it took a while to get their attention when we wanted something.
The pizzas were pretty good, and included a lot more of the authentic Italian flavours and types, as opposed to ones you would normally order from a pizza place. We decided to share everything, and ordered the +39 Specialty ($27), the Capricciosa Italiana ($19) and the Sole e Luna ($20).
The +39 specialty consisted of Fior di Latte (a cheese similar to mozzarella), Berkshire sausage, mascarpone, Gorgonzola cheese, tomato salsa and prosciutto. I felt that the slices of prosciutto on the top were a little overpowering, and with each bite I could only really taste it and not so much the sausage and cheese flavours, but the base was nice and thin, with a good crust.
The Capricciosa was great, with a good balance of flavours from the different ingredients. It consisted of Italian tomato salsa, Fior di Latte, leg ham, olives, artichoke hearts and mushrooms. The only slight downside was that since the pizza slices were quite thin, the artichoke hearts didn't really fit nicely on it as it was quite big and heavy in comparison, so I'd end up eating it separately.
The Sole e Luna (Sun and Moon) was a half-half pizza, consisting of half calzone pizza filled with ham and fior di latte, and half Margherita pizza. There was generous amounts of ham in the calzone half, and just enough cheese to balance it out without becoming overpowering. However, the pizza did become slightly soggy which was a bit disappointing, perhaps because the base was too thin in comparison to all the sauce and ingredients on top.
There is good portions, with two pizzas more than enough to share between about three people. It is a little more expensive though, as the cheapest pizza is the Margherita for $17, up to almost $30 for the +39 specialty.
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